6 Things A Cancer Survivor Wishes You Knew with Guest Blogger Sam Kuhr

Samantha (Sam) Kuhr is a longtime Erin Condren employee, travel enthusiast, boy mom, cancer survivor and travel blogger. She can be found detailing her incredible travels, beautiful family and courageous health battle on her blog, My Travelling Circus. Sam is a beloved member of the planner community and active planner conference moderator and speaker. Today she’s bravely guest blogging and sharing first-hand tips for navigating a conversation with someone with cancer.

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Three years ago my life and body changed forever when I discovered I had stage 2 breast cancer and needed many major surgeries and possibly chemotherapy and radiation. I had two cancerous tumors removed, both breasts, and 13 lymph nodes.

I’m grateful for each day I get to walk this earth, and couldn’t have survived without the outpouring of love and support from my ‘village’, however, I’m permanently changed.

Here are six things a cancer survivor wishes you knew:

1. Sometimes I’m so nervous when I go to my oncology appointments, I vomit in the bathroom of the waiting room. But I put on this brave face when you ask how my appointment went as though it’s no big deal.

2. I prefer to hear success stories, not horror stories. Please be sensitive when sharing stories about your friend who had a double mastectomy at 38, only for the cancer to come back three years later and now she’s dead. It’s not that I don’t care about your friend, I really do…but this is a cancer survivors greatest fear, and it’s hard to go there.

3. I no longer have control over my body and emotions. The chemicals I take on a daily basis are totally running this ship. Some days I barely feel them, and other days I don’t even know who this crazy person is. None of this is deliberate. Please don’t take it personally, and please forgive me. I’d love to not take these drugs, but you see, those same chemicals that sometimes turn me crazy, are the same chemicals that are supposed to keep me alive.

4. Sometimes it feels like a bad dream, and I can hardly believe this happened to me, until I see my Erin Condren LifePlanner™ filled with dates, test results, business cards and future appointments.

5. When people say “You’re all good now right?”…. what I want to say is that I’m all good unless these cancer cells in my body decide to grow and take a tour of my body again. You see this is how it works for me now. If my cancer returns, it’s not because I did or didn’t do something… it’s because those are the cards I’ve been dealt.

6. I honestly feel lucky as crazy as that sounds. It’s amazing I’m still here. Instead of feeling angry cancer paid me a visit, I feel I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to celebrate another day. I also know there are no guarantees. For any of us. There never were. And yes, I worry about ‘recurrence’ more often than I want to, but I remind myself we’re all here temporarily on borrowed time and each day is a gift.

Throughout my journey, I’ve had the good fortune to meet an incredible network of people involved with breast cancer awareness. I feel incredibly grateful that Erin Condren is a huge supporter, and generously donates 50% of sales back from her breast cancer awareness collection. I’m thrilled she has partnered this year with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and look forward to supporting research and prevention of this horrible disease that affects so many of us.

Let’s make a pact to live life large each day we’re here! Who’s with me?

 

EC Nails: Matching Planner Manis!

Over the years, my obsession with nail art has grown- but it hasn’t always been this way! Believe it or not, even with my love for color, I used to keep my fingers bare. Yet I was so amazed by a photo I saw on Instagram by @willpaintnailsforfood that I simply had to give the whole nail art thing a go- and wow, am I hooked! Meghan, my Instagram nail artist muse, had created a fun and funky paisley design to match the cover of her LifePlanner™, and I was so inspired and intrigued!

For this year’s launch, I knew it was time to give some of my favorite covers a little nail art nod of approval. After all, what’s more fun than a matching mani & LifePlanner™ to make planning that much prettier?

I started with my all-time favorite shade, turquoise, then let my nail artist (who is a genius, by the way) go wild with gold foil! I love the way she used the negative, white space of the nail to accentuate the minimalist elegance of the luxe LifePlanner™ – it’s safe to say she “nailed” it.

The next planner-inspired mani I chose was meant to match the original rose gold metallic LifePlanner™. The look was really feminine and chic, and I knew the combo of rose gold and lavender background color would look lovely as a nail design!  

Now this is something I didn’t even know was possible: marble nails! How anyone discovered this is beyond me, but I’m so glad they did! It’s the perfect way to blend color and texture to create an effect that is as unique as it is beautiful- exactly what I look for in every design we create!

While it would be totally overdramatic to say that that “nail art changed my life,” it did make me realize what a world of fun and creativity was waiting at my fingertips! They may be tiny canvases, but I’ve come to see my nails as little artistic expressions of personality that deserve to be decorated and celebrated.

Show us how you’re matching your nails to your LifePlanner™, notebook or journal! by tagging us on Instagram! Who knows, it may just be this week’s #FanFriday challenge…

FriDIY: Little Tikes Car for My Niece

Being an Auntie is one of my proudest roles and of course, I am occasionally guilty of going overboard on gifts for my nieces and nephews. Twelve years ago, when my twin nieces were born I bought TWO Little Tikes cars and decked them out with DAISIES! The gifts were such a hit, so when my brother and his wife were surprised with a baby girl named ROSE, (after two boys) I knew exactly what to do for her first birthday….make a “Rose Royce!”

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I bought fake roses at Michael’s and used a hot glue gun to stick them on the roof of the car. I believe everything is better when personalized, so I used a paint marker (also from Michael’s) to write her name in fancy lettering and added polka dot details to the side door.
slack-imgs.comI found a mini license plate at Toys R Us with peel and stick numbers that called out her birthday on the back. (sorry, forgot to get a photo of that!)
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The gift was once again a huge hit and we couldn’t get Rose to leave her car for the rest of the party! The best thing about this gift is that she didn’t grow out of it for a couple years. Two years later Rose was still taking her “Rose Royce” for a ride around the neighborhood and at the ball park during her brother’s baseball games!

Want to see more DIY projects, product sneak peeks and exciting news around the EC office? Follow us on Instagram!

Erin Condren & DonorsChoose.org

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We’re honored to announce that we will be partnering with DonorsChoose.org during this year’s Back to School season.  For every Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold now through August 31st, we will be donating $1 to projects of YOUR choosing.  At the beginning of September, we will open up a nomination period in which we will ask you, our customers, to nominate projects on the DonorsChoose.org platform that you think are deserving of being funded.  The Erin Condren staff will then select projects from those nominations and other projects near and dear to our hearts to fund using the money raised.  

We selected DonorsChoose.org based off of feedback we heard from our customer base and because we love that they make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need.  Ultimately, they are helping move us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Stay tuned to our blog and social channels for more information on how to nominate projects in September.  We’re so excited to hear from you, and make a difference in classrooms across the country!


$1 of the purchase price from the sale of each Teacher’s Lesson Planner sold in the continental United States will be contributed to DonorsChoose.org. This contribution is not tax deductible by purchasers. The promotion shall last until 8/31/2016, and will have a guaranteed minimum contribution amount of $25,000.

Let’s Party: Au Fudge Press Event

You don’t need to ask me twice to throw a party… so when my team came up with the brilliant idea to host a press event showcasing our new LifePlanner™, I was immediately sold. We reserved a serene space at the amazing new restaurant, Au Fudge in West Hollywood and began the party prep. We knew there had to be food, flowers and FUN, and so there was just that. Mixed summertime blooms in bright corals, pinks and yellows brought the LifePlanner™ party to life one pop of color at a time.

As the intimate group of influencers started to trickle in, the room began to beam with excitement and chatter of which layout each attendee had chosen. We pre-printed each gal’s book to ensure she was ready to rock her new LifePlanner™ look upon arrival.

We even set up a DIY decorating desk for attendee’s to stage a snapchat or start filling out their new book!

Planning is hard work, so we made sure all attendees we’re fueled up for a long day of chatting and planning with light bites and sweet treats. Mini waffles and tea sandwiches made for a delightfully delicious afternoon.

All that was left was for our guests to go home and start planning. It was such a pleasant afternoon showcasing our new LifePlanner™ collection and getting to know a few of the gals we work with and appreciate so dearly. We can definitely say the event was a success and we can’t wait for the next!

Are you interested in working with us? Please email our team at social.media@erincondren.com!